South Australia, a state with a population of about 1.7 million, was hit by a massive storm system on Wednesday. The entire region went without power for much of the day as a result.
Image: Bureau of Meteorology/Japan Meteorological Angency
The Age reports that the “mass blackout” started around 3:30PM local time. According to South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill — what a name! — the power outage may have happened because the storm destroyed a transmission tower, which prompted the power system to shut itself down.
“Essentially what happened is a massive set of power was removed and when that happens it trips the system,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday, Australia’s ABC News reported.
The state apparently has a backup supply, but the system has to be reset first, which allegedly takes some time. “There are a series of back-up generators,” Weatherill said. “Power is restored but the number of hours this may take is something that we don’t yet know.”
The Age also reported that wind turbines, which generate roughly 40 per cent of the state’s power, couldn’t run properly because of high winds.
Some areas of the state had power back by Wednesday night, though other regions would remain in the dark into Thursday, the Guardian reported.
Scenes from the storm were predictably nutballs. The Sydney Morning Herald has a very good liveblog with lots of details, but here are some of the crazier shots:
— Gia Loukes (@Gia_Loukes) September 28, 2016
— Eliza Rugg (@Eliza_Rugg9) September 28, 2016
— Elspeth Hussey (@ElspethHussey7) September 28, 2016
And then, of course, there was Uber.
— Mikey Nicholson (@Mikey_Nicholson) September 28, 2016